Rapid reaction: Oklahoma City beats the Clippers 117-111 in overtime
By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Oklahoma City survived a late rally on Wednesday night, beating the Clippers 117-111 in overtime for the Thunder’s best win of the season. Here’s some rapid reaction:
It was over when…
…Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook brushed off rough shooting nights to take control in overtime. The dynamic duo scored all 15 Thunder points in the extra period, nine coming from Durant and six from Westbrook. They started it off with back-to-back threes, Westbrook’s coming with a patented and flamboyant three-finger holster, and ended it with clutch free-throw shooting, as Durant drained four straight to close the game.
What does it mean?
In the long-term, not much. But for now, at least the Thunder can replace that empty slot in the ‘Best Wins’ category with Clippers. Before this one, the Thunder hadn’t beaten anyone. Or at least anyone of playoff significance. The 6-5 Warriors were the only victory OKC had over a team above .500. That changed with this impressive performance against Los Angeles, a red-hot 8-4 team entering on a six-game win streak that included beatdowns of Miami and San Antonio.
Star of the game – Kevin Durant
As previously mentioned, it was a rough shooting night for the Thunder star. He went 7-19 from the floor, missing seven of nine during one tough mid-game stretch. But, as always, KD was there when it mattered, scoring 15 of his season-high 35 points in the fourth quarter and OT, including an impressive 19-21 from the line. And the rest of his box score was stacked again, adding six rebounds, five assists and a season-high five steals.
Trending upward – Hasheem Thabeet’s contributions
This season, Hasheem Thabeet has 36 points, 33 rebounds, eight blocks and only two missed shots. That’s right, OKC’s big backup center is shooting nearly 85 percent from the field, making 11 of his 13 attempts. Thabeet has been surprisingly effective in limited minutes this year, often giving the Thunder more than Kendrick Perkins does. And it was like that again Wednesday night, contributing 10 points and four rebounds in 12 loud minutes. Perkins had zero points and four rebounds in 33.
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